7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
JAPAN HOUSE Salon Level 5
Railroads trace the length of Japan like an intricate web, but the trains traveling these routes are not only made for speed and efficiency―they are also vehicles for luxury and leisure. (Experience the sounds and views of the Japanese trains in our ASMR videos here.)
Japanese railroad photo journalist, Mr. Kan Sakurai, will introduce the latest railway journeys across Japan, including the "Seven Stars in Kyushu" deluxe cruise train and the "Sagano Romantic Line" sightseeing train in Kyoto.
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Hosted By: Consulate General of Japan Los Angeles
Co-Hosted By: JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles
Kan Sakurai | Railroad Photojournalist
Kan Sakurai was born in 1954 in Nagano Prefecture, a mountainous, landlocked prefecture in the center of Japan’s main island of Honshu. As the son of two railway employees—his father a railroad worker and his mother a local station’s telephone operator—Sakurai grew up surrounded by trains as a child, which naturally nurtured his enthusiasm. This fascination developed into a love for railroad photography in junior high school when he took his first train photos using a twin-lens reflex camera. And at a young age, he soon became a paid contributor to “Railway Journal,” one of the leading magazines in Japan for railroad enthusiasts.
After working for the photography department of a major Japanese publisher, Sakurai decided to become a freelance photojournalist in 1990. Then in 1993, he participated for the first time as a member of the Japanese media team in the “Champagne Charlie International Footsteps Race”—a 100-day race around the world using only trains, ships, and other modes of transportation aside from aircraft—circumnavigating the globe in only 88 days. In 2017, Sakurai began serving as a visiting professor at Tokyo College of Transport Studies which uniquely offers specialized courses specific to trains and transportations, attracting students from all corners of Japan who are interested in pursuing careers in those industries.
In pursuit of railroad photography, Sakurai has not only traveled extensively throughout Japan, but has also visited 95 countries, authoring or co-authoring nearly 100 articles on trains along the way. Currently, he is a regular contributor to several photography- and railway-related publications. And admittedly, his favorite foods are the specialty boxed meals found at train stations across Japan known as “ekiben.”